The NIHR offers three awards through the Integrated Academic Training (IAT) Programme specifically for doctors and dentists. The programme supports individuals to gain research experience as part of their clinical training.
NIHR funds approximately 250 Academic Clinical Fellowships (ACFs) and 100 Clinical Lectureships (CLs) in medicine each year. Funding is also available for up to 23 ACFs and 11 CLs in dentistry each year.
ACF and CL posts are hosted by partnerships of medical/dental schools (and their partner universities), postgraduate deanery functions within the Local Offices of Health Education England (HEE), and their partner NHS organisations.
The third award type, the In-Practice Fellowship (IPF) funds Masters-level training for GPs and dentists in clinical practice.
If you’re a nurse, midwife or allied health professional, you should refer to the HEE/NIHR Integrated Clinical Academic Programme page.
The NIHR Academic Clinical Fellowship (ACF) is a clinical specialty training post in medicine or dentistry that incorporates academic training.
This post has a standard duration of 3 years (4 years for GPs). Alternatively, it can be taken part-time and extended up to a maximum of 5 years (or 6 years for GPs), as long as the academic component remains at 25% whole time equivalent.
You will have access to Masters-level research training to develop your academic skills and equip you to balance your clinical academic career. .
The list of available medical ACFs can be found here. Please refer to our guidance documents for all other information.
As an ACF you will spend:
To be eligible for an ACF you must be:
2020 Medical ACF Round 1 Timetable
2020 Dental ACF Round 1 Timetable
Dental ACFs will be advertised on Oriel from 7 October 2019 onwards. The latest date ACF advertisements appear on Oriel is 29 October 2019. Applications will be open for at least four weeks from the published date of the advertisement.
Each year the NIHR funds 100 ACFs in medicine through the IAT Competition to support the seven Priority Research Themes which are listed below. Please select one of the priority research themes to find more information.
The NIHR Clinical Lectureship (CL) is a post-doctoral award that provides a clinical and academic training environment for doctors and dentists to establish themselves as independent researchers and leaders.
This award has a standard duration of 4 years or until completion of clinical training (CCT/CCST) is reached, whichever is sooner. Alternatively, you can undertake the award part-time and for a maximum duration of 6 years, as long as the academic component does not fall below 33% of whole time equivalent.
As a CL you will spend:
To be eligible for a CL you must:
Each year the NIHR funds 40 CLs in medicine through the IAT Competition to support the seven Priority Research Themes. Advertisements for opportunities to support these research themes will be made available from Sunday 1 March 2020.
Nurses, midwives and allied health professionals should reference the HEE/NIHR Integrated Clinical Academic Programme.
2020 Medical CL Timetable
2020 Dental CL Round 1 Timetable
Dental CLs will be advertised on Oriel from 7 October 2019 onwards. The latest date CL advertisements appear on Oriel is 29 October 2019. Applications will be open for at least four weeks from the published date of the advertisement.
The NIHR will recognise locally funded posts developed by IAT partnerships providing they meet the following criteria relating to the appointment and support for doctors and/or dentists in schemes that:
Individuals in NIHR recognised locally funded posts will be classed as NIHR Academy members.
To apply for NIHR recognition of a locally-funded ACF or CL please download the application form, which can be found in the NIHR IAT Guide (Appendix 7).
The NIHR In-Practice Fellowship (IPF) provides pre-doctoral academic training to fully-qualified general practitioners, general dental practitioners, and community dentists.
This is a 2 year award (or alternatively it can be taken up part-time over 30 or 40 months) that provides funding for:
The next round is expected to open in February 2020. The last rounds guidance notes are available below for reference.
This award will equip you with the skills and experience to prepare an application for a competitive, peer-reviewed doctoral level research training fellowship.
You may have received little formal academic training at the point of application, but should be able to demonstrate your commitment to a career as a clinical academic.
As an awardee, you will split your time equally between a clinical position and the academic training funded through the award.
The NIHR Integrated Academic Training (IAT) competition is based around cross-disciplinary research themes identified by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and NIHR as priority areas. ACF and CL posts in these theme areas may be held in a number of different clinical specialities.
IAT Partnerships can appoint in any General Medical Council (GMC) speciality according to their local expertise, with the condition that the research programme undertaken by the ACF or CL will be in the theme area.
Academic settings at the IAT Partnerships that currently, or have held an Athena SWAN Silver award, or been awarded bronze after 1 April 2018 are eligible to host ACF and CL posts allocated by funding formula and the IAT competition. To find out more please view our Athena Swan document, which details the eligibility criteria for the current allocation.
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Guidance document for the Integrated Academic Training programme
NIHR Advanced Fellowships - Knowledge Mobilisation Research
NIHR Short Placement Award for Research Collaboration (SPARC) Guidance Notes
Selection Committee information
Case study information about Karen Heslop-Marshall, former HEE/NIHR Clinical Doctoral Research Fellow and Nursing Times’ Nurse of the Year 2016 nominee.